Carcass interview from Nuclear Gore

Interview with Bill Steer from Nuclear Gore issue 3, published early 1991

Questions by Phil, introduction by Dave Gedge.

Here's an interview with my most fave band in the universe - yes, it's Carcass!!! In issue one in fact I had TWO interviews with these gods of grind and splatter, quite an here's another! They've (not quite so) recently released their second LP, "Symphonies of Sickness"...many a platter o' splatter! Also they have toured with some of the world's greatest deathgrind bands in Europe recently...and living in this 'wonderful' area of the UK (Dorset) I couldn't get to see a single gig!! Never mind, here's the interview, conducted by Bill (guitar/vox) by Phil of Septic Holocaust (Thanx!!!)

NG: Give us a biography of the band....

The three of us (Jeff, Ken and Bill) got together as a band in the early days of 1987, although some of the musical and lyrical ideas had been around since 1985 (which was also when we came up with the name).

NG: Do you think your lyrics are violent in any way?

Not really. They may be 'sick' and 'tasteless' by traditional standards, but there's nothing we write about that anyone could possibly imitate even if they wanted to - so any pro-censorship types can't get any kind of foothold there. Even if the lyrics are gruesomely graphic, at least they retain a dark sense of humour.

NG: What inspired you to sing about gore?

Well, like I said in Q1, the idea had been around since 1985, when Ken came up with lyrics to songs like "Feast on Dismembered Carnage" and "Psychopathologist", and I suggested the name Carcass for our band. From then on, we felt that if ever we got a band off the ground together, it would have OTT, medically accurate, grotesque lyrics. There was the odd death metal band with splatter-film influenced songs, but we saw there was obviously plenty of room to take the whole 'gore' genre a stage further. With us though, the concepts never came from films - they were drawn from books, real-life concepts and so on.

NG: Do you have many musical influences?

I suppose anything you listen to can be an influence on you, although it's been a long time since we wanted to sound similar to any of our fave bands. Some of the stuff that's probably inspired us over the last 2-3 years includes Deathstrike/Master, Cacophony, Repulsion, Atheist, Insanity, Macabre, Wargasm, King Diamond and others.

NG: What is the worst gig you've ever played?

Hard to say, as most of our gigs haven't been too good at all! Some of the worst include both times we've played in Bradford, a gig with Death Angel (!) and Virus (!?) at Liverpool, our second effort at Ipswich, and several of the Planet X (Liverpool) gigs we've done! We always play badly if we can't hear what the hell's going on.

NG: Do you listen to Bathory, if so what do you think?

It's been ages since I last listened to Bathory. I loved the first and second LPs when they came out, but all round I think they (he?) have been very overrated.

NG: What Japanese bands do you rate?

I don't listen to much Japanese stuff, I never have, but some of the better bands from there are probably Gism, Raging Fury, Deathside etc.

NG: Do you listen to many 'mainstream' thrash bands?

No, but I still enjoy Exodus, oh and Slayer of course (if you call them mainstream). Wargasm are great although to me they are more of an extreme heavy metal band than a Bay Area style act.

NG: Who is your musical idol (ie the instrument you play)?

I don't have one! There are loads of guitarists I enjoy though, like Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen, Greg Howe, Vinnie Moore, the two blokes in Judas Priest, Bruce Bouillet etc etc...

NG: What are your politics?

None of us have politics that are possible to define in such brief space. Suffice to say that all of us detest sexism, racism and bigotry in general, and none of us have eaten meat (or dairy produce in me and Jeff's case) in years.

NG: What is your sex symbol?

No-one. The very idea of regarding a well-known woman (or man) as a 'sex object' or whatever seems ludicrous to me. For a start, there's a lot more to the opposite sex than how 'sexy' they are. Having fantasies about 'stars' is particularly senseless, as there's no hope of crossing their paths, plus they're usually even more screwed up than the average person.

NG: Who would be your perfect woman?

Again, an awkward question to answer properly. My girlfriend is (I think) perfect for me as there's no-one else I'd rather be with, but to suggest that she's actually 'perfect' wouldn't be fair to her or me. I realise that this will sound pathetic, but surely it's best to love someone despite their faults, as opposed to loving them out of a naive belief that they're 'perfect'? The main thing that annoys me about this notion of a 'perfect' woman is that the standard, expected answer would be a 'sex object' type female. Human beings (and sex) are never perfect - and treating a woman as pieces of meat is sick as far as I'm concerned. (I couldn't agree more - Ed.)

NG: What make is your toilet bowl?

Now that's more like it - an intellectual question! Mine's a Twyford Vitromant 330. Quite a rarity too.

NG: Do you use recycled toilet paper?

No, I use toilet roll that's been manufactured from recycled paper!!!

NG: What would you say if you saw a word processor going for a jog past your house?

I wouldn't say anything. I'd just admit myself to the nearest mental hospital.

NG: Do any of you drive? If so, how many accidents have you had?

Ken is the only one who drives at present. So far he hasn't had any serious accidents, although he's definitely had a few 'scrapes' here and there.

NG: What do you think of the Sledge Hammer TV show?

It's my favourite! Our TV picks up Granada, HTV and Yorkshire, so I've seen every episode (some of them several times). Sledge cremates!

NG: What do you think about Harold Bishop's trousers?

I'm sure they're as weakening as the character himself.

NG: What's your opinion on 'Satan' metal?

There's not much of it around these days, aside from perhaps Morbid Angel, but generally I get into a band because of their music, not their lyrics.

NG: Do you watch much kiddies' TV?

Virtually none, but I do eat Farley's Rusks every morning.

NG: What do you think of straight/total edge?

I appreciate the idea behind it all, but the fashion aspects are rather laughable. I haven't drunk alcohol in years (and was never into smoking or drugs) but that has nothing to do with the bands I listen to, nor did I feel the urge to shave my head, scrawl an 'X' on my hand or wear 'positive message' T-shirts. In other words I can't see why some people have to advertise their personal habits and beliefs so much.

NG: Would you ever do a gig with Virus again after the last palaver?

That depends on the situation...!! Who knows, another time might be fun?!

NG: Did you get bullied at school?

Not 'bullied' as such, although I got called 'hippy' and other pleasantries quite regularly!

NG: What was the first record you bought?

I think it was Motorhead's "Golden Years" EP in early 1980.

NG: Do you like Iwan (Terminal zine)?

Iwan? Who's he? I do know a Jim, though (in-joke - not very funny....)

NG: Have you ever blown a condom up on your head?

Never. Am I in a minority here?

NG: Do you think Dave Bennet of the Queen's Hall, Bradford is the most useless fat piece of donkey turd you've ever had the displeasure to meet?

No, I THINK he's a human being actually!

NG: Do you ever watch Sing Country, 8:00 pm Tuesday, BBC 2? Personally I've never heard of it!!!???!!!

Never seen it, don't intend to either. (I watched it once when Don Williams was on. I thought it was pretty good - honest! - Ed.) Crimewatch UK is about the most entertaining BBC program these days I reckon.

NG: Who else is with you at the moment?

No-one special, just the uncaught Zodiac killer from North California and a couple of Jim Jones' surviving disciples...

NG: Say all your thanks, fuck offs, and plugs here....

Thanx for the interview, F.O. to all 'agonizers'....

Transcribed by Gary Kelly,